Trans Law Institute

Trans Law Institute

2019 Trans Law Institute – Program Schedule and Description

Friday August 8, 2019

9:00am – 9:15am        Check-In & Welcome Remarks

9:15am – 10:45am      StoneWall at 50: Trans Advocacy Across the Generations
This Plenary Discussion will examine the evolution of the trans advocacy movement over the past 50 years — examining flashpoints for the movement, the battles that have been waged in and out of court, the victories and successes that advocates have been able to achieve, and the work that remains in securing the dignity and rights of the broader transgender community. The panelists are all notable advocates within the trans community who will contribute inter-generational perspectives as well as legal expertise.

11:00am – 12:30pm   Fighting for Our Lives: What the Trans Military Ban Means for the Broader Trans Rights Movement
This Plenary will discuss the challenges to the Trump Administration’s ban on transgender military service that is currently pending in the federal courts and the broader implications they pose for trans communities across the country. The Panel will delve into the history of the trans military ban, how it writes animus into law, and how, in a dangerous turn of events, the Trump Administration has embraced the use of conversion therapy for trans individuals. The Panelists who are all experts in the field will discuss the legal arguments and strategies currently being used to challenge the policy and will discuss the road ahead.

12:30pm – 1:30pm     Luncheon

1:30pm – 2:45pm       Trans Name & Gender Changes 2.0 (Joint Family Law Institute/TLI Panel)
The panel will explore legal obstacles faced by transgender persons filing for a legal name change. For the adult population, courts routinely deny petitions that seek to waive the publication requirement and not all states permit gender marker change. For the young population, there are many judges who refuse to grant the name change on the basis that it is not in a child’s best interest. Once a name is changed and a person has transitioned, new legal issues arise in terms of his/her/their identify in a Will and other estate documents. If a beneficiary is designated as “my daughter”, but that daughter has transitioned, what happens? Come learn how to be a good advocate. Hear all of the details about the successful outcome by one of our panelists who fought for the rights of trans adults and children to change his/her/their names and won.

3:00pm – 4:15pm       Intersex & Non-Binary Considerations in Law & Policy

This panel will take an in-depth look at legal advocacy for non-binary and intersex people, whose sex or gender is not strictly male or female–addressing strategy as well as ethics. We will talk about how the nonbinary movement elevates the level of discourse regarding discrimination on the basis of sex, explicit or expansion of laws and policies needed to protect intersex and nonbinary people, how to mobilize collaborative working groups to respect local leadership while providing for national consistency, strategies to ease judges and the public into understanding that both sex and gender can be nonbinary, and so much more.

4:15pm – 5:15pm        Breakout Sessions

Dissecting a Case: Trans Legal Advocacy from Soup to Nuts
This litigation workshop will take an indepth look at the ins and outs of a landmark trans rights advocacy case—analyzing strategy as pertains to legal argumentation, experts, motion practice, trial advocacy (or settlement strategy), and public outreach/messaging. The workshop will be led by the Legal Director of one of the nation’s leading LGBT civil rights organizations, and participants will leave the workshop with a robust understanding of the considerations that factor into successful impact litigation.

Making the Case for Equality under Title VII and Title IX
This Panel brings together two experts in sex discrimination law for a discussion on the strides — and setbacks — the trans community has faced in their fight for dignity and equality in schools, universities, and on the job. The panelists will discuss recent decisions interpreting the protections afforded to trans people by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. The panelists will also discuss the limits to court and litigation-based strategies to advocating for trans students and trans employees.

Expanding Healthcare Access for Trans and Non-Binary Individuals
This workshop features some of the nation’s leading experts on transgender healthcare rights, who will be speaking about their experiences working to broaden access to healthcare across the country, including expanding coverage under public and private insurance plans and trans-affirming care for people in prisons and detention centers. The panelists will describe notable interventions they’ve made on behalf of past clients, the legal arguments they deployed, and the road that lies ahead to making trans-inclusive healthcare a reality nationwide.

2018 Trans Law Institute – Program Schedule and Description

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

8:00 pm – 10:00 PM Social event

Join NTBA and the LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York for a Lavender Law reception in Midtown Manhattan. Socialize with LGBT and ally attorneys while supporting NTBA and enjoying an open bar.  Details and pre-registration.

Friday, August 10, 2018

8:30 – 9:00 AM – Welcome Remarks

9:15 – 10:45 am – Using the Courts to Achieve Equality for Trans Folks: A Year in Review

Moderator: Shannon Minter – National Center for Lesbian Rights


  • Ria Tobacco-Mar – American Civil Liberties Union
  • Ezra Young – Law of Firm Ezra Young
  • Diana Flynn – Lambda Legal

10:45 – 11:00 AM – Break

11:00 AM – 12 Noon – Advocating for Trans Individuals Within State and Local Government

Moderator: Ashe McGovern- New York City Unity Project


  • Carmelyn Malalis – New York City Commission on Human Rights
  • Cecilia Gentili – Gay Men’s Health Crisis
  • Ames Simmons- Equality NC
  • Chase Strangio- ACLU

12:00-1:30 pm – Lunch

1:30-3:00 pm – Developments in Trans Family Law

Held in conjunction with the National LGBT Bar Association’s Family Law Institute.

Moderator: Asaf Orr- National Center for Lesbian Rights


  • Celeste Fiore
  • Alana Chazan – Chazan Family Law, P.C.
  • Angie Martell -Iglesia Martell PLLC
  • Diane Bruessow – Healthy Transitions

3:15 – 4:15 pm – Advocating for Trans Individuals Within Detention & Criminal Justice Systems

Moderator: Sharita Gruberg- Center for American Progress


  • Kevin M. Barry – Quinnipiac University School of Law
  • Mik Kinkead – Sylvia Rivera Law Project
  • Richard Saenz – Lambda Legal
  • Lynly Eyges- Transgender Law Center

4:15 – 4:30 pm – Break

4:30 – 5:30 pm – Ensuring Access Comprehensive and Affirming Health Care

Moderator: Ezra Cukor – New York City Commission on Human Rights


  • Luc Athayde-Rizzaro – National Center for Transgender Equality
  • Noah Lewis – Transcend Legal
  • Asa Radix – Callen-Lorde Community Health Center